We could not think of a name which would have been more appropriate for the location of our '3-inch Stokes Mortar'.
We aquired the 'Stokes' in early 2009. The position we chose for it was on a small rise... in the direction of the red arrow illustrated at left, just out of view. The location overlooked the join to ours and our neighbouring units firebays.
Initially, our first 'Stokes' position was above ground (above left), with a sandbag wall built up to protect the crew (above right).
After our first event with the 'Stokes', plans were drawn up for the improvement of the position. This however was given lesser priority of importance at the time... as other trench improvements were in full progress. Prior to the second event (above left), the position was improved a little by digging down a couple of feet, and strengthening the sandbag wall. At least now (above right), the crew were not fully above ground, and afforded a little more protection.
Eventually... by the end of the year, our trench improvements had moved apace, and we were able to construct 'Boom Alley' proper... linking it to the main trench system.
Important messages about target correction could now be sent safely down the trench system to the 'Stokes' crew (above left)... in order for such corrections to be acted upon with the minimum of waiting time (above right).
As our trench improvements progressed, certain areas were given higher priority. The 'Stokes' position was now given our full attention.
At left is illustrated how work had progressed by the time of the site shutdown. The position was now fully below ground level, completely encircled with a double thickness sandbag walled parapet, and fully revetted.
Due to the position having a commanding view of the full sector (much to the continued annoyance of the 'Hun')... a permenant sentry position was also added. Rule one of a good defensive position---> 'Command no-mans-land'. We did!.